Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The Superfund legislation... may prove to be as far-reaching and important as any accomplishment of my administration. The reduction of the threat to America's health and safety from thousands of toxic-waste sites will continue to be an urgent…issue …”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Johannes Kepler Quotes

Thumbnail of Johannes Kepler (source)
Johannes Kepler
(27 Dec 1571 - 15 Nov 1630)

German astronomer who formulated three major laws of planetary motion which enabled Isaac Newton to devise the law of gravitation. Working from the carefully measured positions of the planets recorded by Tycho Brahe, Kepler mathematically deduced his three laws from the data.

Science Quotes by Johannes Kepler (29 quotes)

>> Click for Johannes Kepler Quotes on | God | Heaven |

At ubi materia, ibi Geometria.
Where there is matter, there is geometry.
— Johannes Kepler
Concerning the More Certain Fundamentals of Astrology (1601, 2003), 7. Latin text quoted in Ian Maclean, Logic, Signs and Nature in the Renaissance: The Case of Learned Medicine (2007), 188.
Science quotes on:  |  Geometry (71)  |  Matter (135)

Temporis filia veritas; cui me obstetricari non pudet.
Truth is the daughter of time, and I feel no shame in being her midwife.
— Johannes Kepler
Opening remark from 'Narratio de observatis a se quatuor Jovis satellitibus erronibus, quos Galilaeus Galilaeus Mathematicus Florentinus jure inventionis medicaea sidera nuncupavit' (Account of personal observations of the four moving satellites of Jupiter, which Florentine Mathematician Galileo Galilei had the right of discovery to Name as the Medicicaean Stars) (observed 30 Aug 1610, written 11 Sep 1610, printed about Oct 1610) in which he confirmed having seen the things announced by Galileo in Mar 1610. Collected in Cav. Giambatista venturi, Memorie e Lettere Inedite Finora o Disperse di Galileo Galilei (Memoirs and Letters, Previously Unpublished or Missing, of Galileo Galilei) (1811), Vol 1, 144.
Science quotes on:  |  Time (175)  |  Truth (469)

After the birth of printing books became widespread. Hence everyone throughout Europe devoted himself to the study of literature... Every year, especially since 1563, the number of writings published in every field is greater than all those produced in the past thousand years. Through them there has today been created a new theology and a new jurisprudence; the Paracelsians have created medicine anew and the Copernicans have created astronomy anew. I really believe that at last the world is alive, indeed seething, and that the stimuli of these remarkable conjunctions did not act in vain.
— Johannes Kepler
De Stella Nova, On the New Star (1606), Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 1, 330-2. Quoted in N. Jardine, The Birth of History and Philosophy of Science: Kepler's A Defence of Tycho Against Ursus With Essays on its Provenance and Significance (1984), 277-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (108)  |  Book (104)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (31)  |  Medicine (190)  |  Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus (13)  |  Publication (75)

And from this such small difference of eight minutes [of arc] it is clear why Ptolemy, since he was working with bisection [of the linear eccentricity], accepted a fixed equant point... . For Ptolemy set out that he actually did not get below ten minutes [of arc], that is a sixth of a degree, in making observations. To us, on whom Divine benevolence has bestowed the most diligent of observers, Tycho Brahe, from whose observations this eight-minute error of Ptolemy's in regard to Mars is deduced, it is fitting that we accept with grateful minds this gift from God, and both acknowledge and build upon it. So let us work upon it so as to at last track down the real form of celestial motions (these arguments giving support to our belief that the assumptions are incorrect). This is the path I shall, in my own way, strike out in what follows. For if I thought the eight minutes in [ecliptic] longitude were unimportant, I could make a sufficient correction (by bisecting the [linear] eccentricity) to the hypothesis found in Chapter 16. Now, because they could not be disregarded, these eight minutes alone will lead us along a path to the reform of the whole of Astronomy, and they are the matter for a great part of this work.
— Johannes Kepler
Astronomia Nova, New Astronomy (1609), ch. 19, 113-4, Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937-), Vol. 3, 177-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (108)  |  Tycho Brahe (19)  |  Mars (14)  |  Measurement (113)  |  Observation (277)  |  Orbit (36)  |  Ptolemy (10)

And if you want the exact moment in time, it was conceived mentally on 8th March in this year one thousand six hundred and eighteen, but submitted to calculation in an unlucky way, and therefore rejected as false, and finally returning on the 15th of May and adopting a new line of attack, stormed the darkness of my mind. So strong was the support from the combination of my labour of seventeen years on the observations of Brahe and the present study, which conspired together, that at first I believed I was dreaming, and assuming my conclusion among my basic premises. But it is absolutely certain and exact that the proportion between the periodic times of any two planets is precisely the sesquialterate proportion of their mean distances.
— Johannes Kepler
Harmonice Mundi, The Harmony of the World (1619), book V, ch. 3. Trans. E. J. Aiton, A. M. Duncan and J. V. Field (1997), 411.
Science quotes on:  |  Tycho Brahe (19)  |  Calculation (47)  |  Observation (277)  |  Period (24)  |  Planet (86)

Geometry is one and eternal shining in the mind of God. That share in it accorded to men is one of the reasons that Man is the image of God.
— Johannes Kepler
Conversation with the Sidereal Messenger [an open letter to Galileo Galilei], Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo (1610), in Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 4, 308, ll. 9-10.
Science quotes on:  |  Geometry (71)  |  God (236)

Geometry, which before the origin of things was coeternal with the divine mind and is God himself (for what could there be in God which would not be God himself?), supplied God with patterns for the creation of the world, and passed over to Man along with the image of God; and was not in fact taken in through the eyes.
— Johannes Kepler
Harmonice Mundi, The Harmony of the World (1619), book IV, ch. 1. Trans. E. J. Aiton, A. M. Duncan and J. V. Field (1997), 304.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (131)  |  Geometry (71)  |  God (236)

However, before we come to [special] creation, which puts an end to all discussion: I think we should try everything else.
— Johannes Kepler
De Stella Nova, On the New Star (1606), Chapter 22, in Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937-), Vol. 1, 257, ll. 23-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Discussion (18)

I also ask you my friends not to condemn me entirely to the mill of mathematical calculations, and allow me time for philosophical speculations, my only pleasures.
— Johannes Kepler
Letter to Vincenzo Bianchi (17 Feb 1619). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 17, letter 827, l. 249-51, p. 327.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculation (47)  |  Mathematics (371)  |  Philosophy (133)  |  Pleasure (55)  |  Speculation (44)

I am a Lutheran astrologer, I throw away the nonsense and keep the hard kernel.
— Johannes Kepler
Letter to Michael Maestlin (15 Mar 1598). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 13, letter 68, l. 177, p.184.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrologer (4)  |  Nonsense (13)

I am much occupied with the investigation of the physical causes [of motions in the Solar System]. My aim in this is to show that the celestial machine is to be likened not to a divine organism but rather to a clockwork … insofar as nearly all the manifold movements are carried out by means of a single, quite simple magnetic force. This physical conception is to be presented through calculation and geometry.
— Johannes Kepler
Letter to Ilerwart von Hohenburg (10 Feb 1605) Quoted in Holton, Johannes Kepler's Universe: Its Physics and Metaphysics, 342, as cited by Hylarie Kochiras, Force, Matter, and Metaphysics in Newton's Natural Philosophy (2008), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculation (47)  |  Cause (130)  |  Celestial (7)  |  Clockwork (3)  |  Conception (30)  |  Divine (18)  |  Force (80)  |  Geometry (71)  |  Investigation (85)  |  Machine (58)  |  Magnetic (3)  |  Manifold (5)  |  Motion (72)  |  Movement (34)  |  Occupation (29)  |  Organism (73)  |  Physical (31)  |  Presenting (2)  |  Simple (30)  |  Single (28)  |  Solar System (29)

I am stealing the golden vessels of the Egyptians to build a tabernacle to my God from them, far far away from the boundaries of Egypt. If you forgive me, I shall rejoice; if you are enraged with me, I shall bear it. See, I cast the die, and I write the book. Whether it is to be read by the people of the present or of the future makes no difference: let it await its reader for a hundred years, if God himself has stood ready for six thousand years for one to study him.
— Johannes Kepler
Harmonice Mundi, The Harmony of the World (1619), end of Introduction to Book V. Trans. E. J. Aiton, A. M. Duncan and J. V. Field (1997), 391.
Science quotes on:  |  God (236)

I myself, a professional mathematician, on re-reading my own work find it strains my mental powers to recall to mind from the figures the meanings of the demonstrations, meanings which I myself originally put into the figures and the text from my mind. But when I attempt to remedy the obscurity of the material by putting in extra words, I see myself falling into the opposite fault of becoming chatty in something mathematical.
— Johannes Kepler
Astronomia Nova, New Astronomy, (1609), Introduction, second paragraph.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematician (112)  |  Publication (75)

I used to measure the Heavens, now I measure the shadows of Earth. The mind belonged to Heaven, the body's shadow lies here.
Kepler's epitaph for himself.
— Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), vol. 19, p. 393.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (93)  |  Earth (255)  |  Epitaph (18)  |  Heaven (57)  |  Measurement (113)  |  Mind (282)  |  Shadow (17)

I wanted to become a theologian; for a long time I was unhappy. Now, behold, God is praised by my work even in astronomy.
— Johannes Kepler
Letter to Michael Maestlin (3 Oct 1595). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 13, letter 23, l. 256-7, p. 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Science And Religion (163)  |  Theologian (12)

If there is anything that can bind the heavenly mind of man to this dreary exile of our earthly home and can reconcile us with our fate so that one can enjoy living,—then it is verily the enjoyment of the mathematical sciences and astronomy.
— Johannes Kepler
In a letter to his son-in-law, Jakob Bartsch. Quoted in Norman Davidson, Sky Phenomena (2004), 131. Also see Johannes Kepler and Carola Baumgardt (ed.), Johannes Kepler: Life and Letters (1951), 190.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (108)  |  Bind (6)  |  Earth (255)  |  Enjoyment (14)  |  Fate (18)  |  Living (24)  |  Man (264)  |  Mathematics (371)  |  Mind (282)  |  Reconcile (5)

If this [the Mysterium cosmographicum] is published, others will perhaps make discoveries I might have reserved for myself. But we are all ephemeral creatures (and none more so than I). I have, therefore, for the Glory of God, who wants to be recognized from the book of Nature, that these things may be published as quickly as possible. The more others build on my work the happier I shall be.
— Johannes Kepler
Letter to Michael Maestlin (3 Oct 1595). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 13, letter 23, l. 251, p. 39-40.
Science quotes on:  |  God (236)  |  Nature (550)  |  Publication (75)

It is a right, yes a duty, to search in cautious manner for the numbers, sizes, and weights, the norms for everything [God] has created. For He himself has let man take part in the knowledge of these things ... For these secrets are not of the kind whose research should be forbidden; rather they are set before our eyes like a mirror so that by examining them we observe to some extent the goodness and wisdom of the Creator.
— Johannes Kepler
Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. In Michael B. Foster, Mystery and Philosophy, 61. Cited by Max Casper and Doris Hellman, trans., ed. Kepler (1954), 381. Cited by Gerald J. Galgan, Interpreting the Present: Six Philosophical Essays (1993), 105. Gerald J. Galgan
Science quotes on:  |  Caution (9)  |  Creation (131)  |  Duty (29)  |  Examination (47)  |  Forbidden (6)  |  Knowledge (701)  |  Mirror (11)  |  Number (92)  |  Research (371)  |  Search (44)  |  Size (22)  |  Weight (41)

My aim is to say that the machinery of the heavens is not like a divine animal but like a clock (and anyone who believes a clock has a soul gives the work the honour due to its maker) and that in it almost all the variety of motions is from one very simple magnetic force acting on bodies, as in the clock all motions are from a very simple weight.
— Johannes Kepler
Letter to J. G. Herwart von Hohenburg (16 Feb 1605). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 15, letter 325, l. 57-61, p. 146.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (155)  |  Clock (14)  |  Heaven (57)  |  Machine (58)  |  Magnetism (20)  |  Motion (72)

Nature uses as little as possible of anything.
— Johannes Kepler
Harmonice mundi (1619). In Bill Swainson and Anne H. Soukhanov, Encarta Book Of Quotations (2000), 514.
Science quotes on:  |  Little (32)  |  Matter (135)  |  Nature (550)  |  Use (57)

Nothing holds me ... I will indulge in my sacred fury; I will triumph over mankind by the honest confession that I have stolen the golden vases of the Egyptians to build up a tabernacle for my God, far away from the confines of Egypt. If you forgive me, I rejoice ; if you are angry, I can bear it. The die is cast; the book is written, to be read either now or by posterity, I care not which. It may well wait a century for a reader, as God has waited six thousand years for an observer.
— Johannes Kepler
As given in David Brewster, The Martyrs of Science (1841), 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (104)  |  Century (40)  |  God (236)  |  Read (32)  |  Wait (16)

O telescope, instrument of knowledge, more precious than any sceptre.
— Johannes Kepler
Letter to Galileo (1610). Quoted in Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way (2003), 95.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (701)  |  Precious (8)  |  Telescope (46)

Repudiating the sensible world, which he neither sees himself nor believes from those who have, the Peripatetic joins combat by childish quibbling in a world on paper, and denies the Sun shines because he himself is blind.
— Johannes Kepler
Letter to Galileo Galilei (28 Mar 1611). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 16, letter 611, 1. 17-20, p. 372.
Science quotes on:  |  Galileo Galilei (66)  |  Sun (116)

So, Fabricius, I already have this: that the most true path of the planet [Mars] is an ellipse, which Dürer also calls an oval, or certainly so close to an ellipse that the difference is insensible.
— Johannes Kepler
Letter to David Fabricius (11 Oct 1605). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 15, letter 358, l. 390-92, p. 249.
Science quotes on:  |  Ellipse (3)  |  Mars (14)  |  Orbit (36)  |  Planet (86)

Some of what these pamphlets [of astrological forecasts] say will turn out to be true, but most of it time and experience will expose as empty and worthless. The latter part will be forgotten [literally: written on the winds] while the former will be carefully entered in people's memories, as is usual with the crowd.
— Johannes Kepler
On giving astrology sounder foundations, De fundamentis astrologiae certioribus, (1602), Thesis 2, Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 4, 12, trans. J. V. Field, in Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 1984, 31, 229-72.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrology (20)

The cause of the six-sided shape of a snowflake is none other than that of the ordered shapes of plants and of numerical constants; and since in them nothing occurs without supreme reason—not, to be sure, such as discursive reasoning discovers, but such as existed from the first in the Creators's design and is preserved from that origin to this day in the wonderful nature of animal faculties, I do not believe that even in a snowflake this ordered pattern exists at random.
— Johannes Kepler
Di Nive Sexangula, On the Six-Cornered Snowflake (1611), K18, 1. 6-12. Trans. and ed. Colin Hardie (1966), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Creator (15)  |  Hexagon (4)  |  Reason (174)  |  Snowflake (4)

We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens ... The diversity of the phenomena of Nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.
— Johannes Kepler
From Mysterium Cosmographicum. Quote as translated in Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980, 1985), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Asking (19)  |  Bird (60)  |  Creation (131)  |  Diversity (32)  |  Fathom (4)  |  Fresh (8)  |  Great (70)  |  Heaven (57)  |  Hidden (15)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Lacking (2)  |  Nature (550)  |  Nourishment (12)  |  Phenomenon (127)  |  Pleasure (55)  |  Precision (19)  |  Purpose (69)  |  Richness (8)  |  Secret (46)  |  Singing (4)  |  Song (8)  |  Treasure (18)  |  Trouble (23)  |  Usefulness (54)  |  Why (6)

We do not ask what hope of gain makes a little bird warble, since we know that it takes delight in singing because it is for that very singing that the bird was made, so there is no need to ask why the human mind undertakes such toil in seeking out these secrets of the heavens. ... And just as other animals, and the human body, are sustained by food and drink, so the very spirit of Man, which is something distinct from Man, is nourished, is increased, and in a sense grows up on this diet of knowledge, and is more like the dead than the living if it is touched by no desire for these things.
— Johannes Kepler
Mysterium Cosmographicum. Translated by A. M. Duncan in The Secret of the Universe (1981), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (155)  |  Asking (19)  |  Bird (60)  |  Dead (16)  |  Delight (22)  |  Desire (48)  |  Diet (24)  |  Distinction (21)  |  Drink (15)  |  Food (79)  |  Gain (24)  |  Heaven (57)  |  Hope (54)  |  Human Body (16)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Increase (40)  |  Knowledge (701)  |  Little (32)  |  Living (24)  |  Made (9)  |  Need (62)  |  Nourishment (12)  |  Secret (46)  |  Seeking (24)  |  Sense (111)  |  Singing (4)  |  Spirit (53)  |  Sustenance (2)  |  Toil (8)  |  Touch (20)  |  Undertaking (6)

Yet in this my stars were not Mercury as morning star in the angle of the seventh house, in quartile with Mars, but they were Copernicus, they were Tycho Brahe, without whose books of observations everything which has now been brought by me into the brightest daylight would lie buried in darkness.
— Johannes Kepler
Harmonice Mundi, The Harmony of the World (1619), book IV, Epilogue on Sublunary Nature. Trans. E. J. Aiton, A. M. Duncan and J. V. Field (1997), 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Tycho Brahe (19)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (31)  |  Mars (14)  |  Mercury (27)  |  Observation (277)

Quotes by others about Johannes Kepler (16)

Copernicus, who rightly did condemn
This eldest systeme, form'd a wiser scheme;
In which he leaves the Sun at Rest, and rolls
The Orb Terrestial on its proper Poles;
Which makes the Night and Day by this Career,
And by its slow and crooked Course the Year.
The famous Dane, who oft the Modern guides,
To Earth and Sun their Provinces divides:
The Earth's Rotation makes the Night and Day,
The Sun revolving through th'Eccliptic Way
Effects the various seasons of the Year,
Which in their Turn for happy Ends appear.
This Scheme or that, which pleases best, embrace,
Still we the Fountain of their Motion trace.
Kepler asserts these Wonders may be done
By the Magnetic Vertue of the Sun,
Which he, to gain his End, thinks fit to place
Full in the Center of that mighty Space,
Which does the Spheres, where Planets roll, include,
And leaves him with Attractive Force endu'd.
The Sun, thus seated, by Mechanic Laws,
The Earth, and every distant Planet draws;
By which Attraction all the Planets found
Within his reach, are turn'd in Ether round.
Creation: A Philosopical Poem in Seven Books (1712), book 2, l. 430-53, p.78-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (31)  |  Earth (255)  |  Planet (86)  |  Poetry (66)  |  Season (8)  |  Solar System (29)  |  Sun (116)

All Science is necessarily prophetic, so truly so, that the power of prophecy is the test, the infallible criterion, by which any presumed Science is ascertained to be actually & verily science. The Ptolemaic Astronomy was barely able to prognosticate a lunar eclipse; with Kepler and Newton came Science and Prophecy.
On the Constitution of the Church and State (1830). In The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1976), John Cohner (ed.), Vol. 10, 118, footnote 1 on Coleridge's annotation.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (108)  |  Eclipse (11)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (180)  |  Science (926)

The sublime discoveries of Newton, and, together with these, his not less fruitful than wonderful application, of the higher mathesis to the movement of the celestial bodies, and to the laws of light, gave almost religious sanction to the corpuscular system and mechanical theory. It became synonymous with philosophy itself. It was the sole portal at which truth was permitted to enter. The human body was treated an hydraulic machine... In short, from the time of Kepler to that of Newton, and from Newton to Hartley, not only all things in external nature, but the subtlest mysteries of life, organization, and even of the intellect and moral being, were conjured within the magic circle of mathematical formulae.
Hints Towards the Formation of a more Comprehensive Theory of Life (1848). In The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Shorter Works and Fragments (1995), H. J. Jackson and J. R. de J. Jackson (eds.), Vol. 11, 1, 498.
Science quotes on:  |  David Hartley (5)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (180)  |  Philosophy (133)

It is a vulgar belief that our astronomical knowledge dates only from the recent century when it was rescued from the monks who imprisoned Galileo; but Hipparchus … who among other achievements discovered the precession of the eqinoxes, ranks with the Newtons and the Keplers; and Copernicus, the modern father of our celestial science, avows himself, in his famous work, as only the champion of Pythagoras, whose system he enforces and illustrates. Even the most modish schemes of the day on the origin of things, which captivate as much by their novelty as their truth, may find their precursors in ancient sages, and after a careful analysis of the blended elements of imagination and induction which charaterise the new theories, they will be found mainly to rest on the atom of Epicurus and the monad of Thales. Scientific, like spiritual truth, has ever from the beginning been descending from heaven to man.
Lothair (1879), preface, xvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (108)  |  Atom (164)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (31)  |  Epicurus (5)  |  Galileo Galilei (66)  |  Hipparchus (3)  |  Imagination (135)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (180)  |  Pythagoras (18)  |  Thales (3)  |  Theory (370)

What a deep faith in the rationality of the structure of the world and what a longing to understand even a small glimpse of the reason revealed in the world there must have been in Kepler and Newton to enable them to unravel the mechanism of the heavens in long years of lonely work!
'Religion and Science', The New York Times (9 Nov 1930), Sunday Magazine, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Isaac Newton (180)  |  Science And Religion (163)  |  Universe (297)

The strangest thing of all is that our ulama these days have divided science into two parts. One they call Muslim science, and one European science. Because of this they forbid others to teach some of the useful sciences. They have not understood that science is that noble thing that has no connection with any nation, and is not distinguished by anything but itself. Rather, everything that is known is known by science, and every nation that becomes renowned becomes renowned through science. Men must be related to science, not science to men. How very strange it is that the Muslims study those sciences that are ascribed to Aristotle with the greatest delight, as if Aristotle were one of the pillars of the Muslims. However, if the discussion relates to Galileo, Newton, and Kepler, they consider them infidels. The father and mother of science is proof, and proof is neither Aristotle nor Galileo. The truth is where there is proof, and those who forbid science and knowledge in the belief that they are safeguarding the Islamic religion are really the enemies of that religion. Lecture on Teaching and Learning (1882).
In Nikki R. Keddie, An Islamic Response to Imperialism (1983), 107.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (103)  |  Europe (17)  |  Galileo Galilei (66)  |  Nation (49)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (180)  |  Proof (139)  |  Science (926)  |  Truth (469)

[P]olitical and social and scientific values … should be correlated in some relation of movement that could be expressed in mathematics, nor did one care in the least that all the world said it could not be done, or that one knew not enough mathematics even to figure a formula beyond the schoolboy s=(1/2)gt2. If Kepler and Newton could take liberties with the sun and moon, an obscure person ... could take liberties with Congress, and venture to multiply its attraction into the square of its time. He had only to find a value, even infinitesimal, for its attraction.
The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography? (1918), 376.
Science quotes on:  |  Attraction (20)  |  Congress (6)  |  Formula (31)  |  Mathematics (371)  |  Moon (79)  |  Motion (72)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (180)  |  Politics (54)  |  Society (86)  |  Sun (116)  |  Time (175)

[Newton wrote to Halley … that he would not give Hooke any credit] That, alas, is vanity. You find it in so many scientists. You know, it has always hurt me to think that Galileo did not acknowledge the work of Kepler.
In I. Bernard Cohen, 'An Interview with Einstein', in Anthony Philip French (ed.), Einstein: A Centenary Volume (1979), 41. Cited in Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way (2003), 94-95.
Science quotes on:  |  Galileo Galilei (66)  |  Edmond Halley (5)  |  Robert Hooke (19)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (180)  |  Scientist (244)  |  Vanity (8)

I do not think that G. H. Hardy was talking nonsense when he insisted that the mathematician was discovering rather than creating, nor was it wholly nonsense for Kepler to exult that he was thinking God's thoughts after him. The world for me is a necessary system, and in the degree to which the thinker can surrender his thought to that system and follow it, he is in a sense participating in that which is timeless or eternal.
'Reply to Lewis Edwin Hahn', The Philosophy of Brand Blanshard (1980), 901.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (382)  |  G. H. Hardy (41)  |  Mathematician (112)  |  Nonsense (13)  |  Thought (175)

Foreshadowings of the principles and even of the language of [the infinitesimal] calculus can be found in the writings of Napier, Kepler, Cavalieri, Pascal, Fermat, Wallis, and Barrow. It was Newton's good luck to come at a time when everything was ripe for the discovery, and his ability enabled him to construct almost at once a complete calculus.
History of Mathematics (3rd Ed., 1901), 366.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (40)  |  Anecdote (15)  |  Isaac Barrow (6)  |  Calculus (14)  |  Construct (6)  |  Discovery (382)  |  Enable (10)  |  Pierre de Fermat (8)  |  Foreshadow (2)  |  Language (71)  |  John Napier (2)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (180)  |  Blaise Pascal (24)  |  Principle (103)  |  Publication (75)  |  John Wallis (2)

After a duration of a thousand years, the power of astrology broke down when, with Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, the progress of astronomy overthrew the false hypothesis upon which the entire structure rested, namely the geocentric system of the universe. The fact that the earth revolves in space intervened to upset the complicated play of planetary influences, and the silent stars, related to the unfathomable depths of the sky, no longer made their prophetic voices audible to mankind. Celestial mechanics and spectrum analysis finally robbed them of their mysterious prestige.
Franz Cumont, translated by J.B. Baker, Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans (1912, 2007), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrology (20)  |  Galileo Galilei (66)  |  Geocentric (4)  |  Hypothesis (152)  |  Mechanics (31)  |  Mystery (75)  |  Planet (86)  |  Prestige (6)  |  Spectrum (17)  |  Star (135)  |  Universe (297)

But just as astronomy succeeded astrology, following Kepler's discovery of planetary regularities, the discoveries of these many principles in empirical explorations of intellectual processes in machines should lead to a science, eventually.
[Co-author with South African mathematician, Seymour Papert (1928- )]
Artificial Intelligence (1973), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrology (20)  |  Astronomy (108)  |  Empiricism (14)  |  Exploration (50)  |  Intellect (102)  |  Machine (58)  |  Process (100)  |  Science (926)

In the beginning of the year 1665 I found the Method of approximating series & the Rule for reducing any dignity of any Bionomial into such a series. The same year in May I found the method of Tangents of Gregory & Slusius, & in November had the direct method of fluxions & the next year in January had the Theory of Colours & in May following I had entrance into ye inverse method of fluxions. And the same year I began to think of gravity extending to ye orb of the Moon & (having found out how to estimate the force with wch [a] globe revolving within a sphere presses the surface of the sphere) from Keplers rule of the periodic times of the Planets being in sesquialterate proportion of their distances from the center of their Orbs, I deduced that the forces wch keep the Planets in their Orbs must [be] reciprocally as the squares of their distances from the centers about wch they revolve: & thereby compared the force requisite to keep the Moon in her Orb with the force of gravity at the surface of the earth, & found them answer pretty nearly. All this was in the two plague years of 1665-1666. For in those days I was in the prime of my age for invention & minded Mathematicks & Philosophy more then than at any time since.
Quoted in Richard Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (1980), 143.
Science quotes on:  |  Binomial (2)  |  Calculus (14)  |  Colour (34)  |  Differentiation (11)  |  Fluxion (3)  |  Gravity (60)  |  Inverse Square Law (4)  |  Law Of Gravity (3)  |  Orbit (36)  |  Plague (30)  |  Prime (4)

Kepler's laws, although not rigidly true, are sufficiently near to the truth to have led to the discovery of the law of attraction of the bodies of the solar system. The deviation from complete accuracy is due to the facts, that the planets are not of inappreciable mass, that, in consequence, they disturb each other's orbits about the Sun, and, by their action on the Sun itself, cause the periodic time of each to be shorter than if the Sun were a fixed body, in the subduplicate ratio of the mass of the Sun to the sum of the masses of the Sun and Planet; these errors are appreciable although very small, since the mass of the largest of the planets, Jupiter, is less than 1/1000th of the Sun's mass.
In Isaac Newton and Percival Frost (ed.) Newton's Principia: Sections I, II, III (1863), 216.
Science quotes on:  |  Attraction (20)  |  Deviation (8)  |  Discovery (382)  |  Disturbance (12)  |  Error (154)  |  Jupiter (12)  |  Law (279)  |  Law Of Gravitation (10)  |  Mass (26)  |  Orbit (36)  |  Period (24)  |  Planet (86)  |  Sun (116)  |  Truth (469)

Kepler’s discovery would not have been possible without the doctrine of conics. Now contemporaries of Kepler—such penetrating minds as Descartes and Pascal—were abandoning the study of geometry ... because they said it was so UTTERLY USELESS. There was the future of the human race almost trembling in the balance; for had not the geometry of conic sections already been worked out in large measure, and had their opinion that only sciences apparently useful ought to be pursued, the nineteenth century would have had none of those characters which distinguish it from the ancien rιgime.
From 'Lessons from the History of Science: The Scientific Attitude' (c.1896), in Collected Papers (1931), Vol. 1, 32.
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (8)  |  Abandon (18)  |  Apparently (2)  |  Balance (25)  |  Contemporary (11)  |  Renι Descartes (32)  |  Discovery (382)  |  Doctrine (33)  |  Future (114)  |  Geometry (71)  |  Human (176)  |  Mind (282)  |  Opinion (85)  |  Blaise Pascal (24)  |  Penetrating (2)  |  Possible (20)  |  Pursue (5)  |  Race (38)  |  Science (926)  |  Study (168)  |  Useful (15)  |  Useless (3)  |  Utterly (4)

It is no way derogatory to Newton, or Kepler, or Galileo, that Science in these days should have advanced far beyond them. Rather is this itself their crown of glory. Their works are still bearing fruit, and will continue to do so. The truths which they discovered are still living in our knowledge, pregnant with infinite consequences.
Co-author with his brother Augustus William Hare Guesses At Truth, By Two Brothers: Second Edition: With Large Additions (1848), Second Series, 251. (The volume is introduced as “more than three fourths new.” This quote is identified as by Julius; Augustus had died in 1833.)
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (55)  |  Bearing (6)  |  Beyond (20)  |  Consequence (46)  |  Continuation (15)  |  Crown (12)  |  Discovery (382)  |  Fruit (34)  |  Galileo Galilei (66)  |  Glory (24)  |  Infinite (41)  |  Knowledge (701)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (180)  |  Pregnant (3)  |  Science (926)  |  Truth (469)

See also:

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Author Icon
who invites your feedback

Today in Science History

Most Popular

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton